Men's Basketball ACCtion: Wednesday, February 9

Feb. 9, 2011

Smith Leads No. 5 Duke's Comeback Win Over UNC, 79-73

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  • DURHAM, N.C. – Nolan Smith scored 22 of his career-high 34 points in the second half, and No. 5 Duke rallied from 16 points down to beat No. 20 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday night.

    Seth Curry added a season-high 22 points for the Blue Devils (22-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

    They trailed 43-27 in the final minute of the first half and were down 14 at halftime before clamping down on the Tar Heels, outscoring them 50-30 in the final 20 minutes to keep hold of first place in the league.

    Tyler Zeller had 24 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and John Henson added 14 points for North Carolina (17-6, 7-2), which had its five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the third straight time in college basketball's fiercest rivalry.

    Kyle Singler finished with 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting for Duke, but hit three important free throws in the final minute - including two with 25.2 seconds left to make it 75-70 after North Carolina had made it a one-possession game.

    Then, after Kendall Marshall hit a free throw to pull the Tar Heels within four with 17.2 seconds left, Smith beat everybody downcourt and soared for a breakaway dunk that all but ensured the Blue Devils would avoid their first loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in almost exactly two years. Duke extended its NCAA-best winning streak at home to 33.

    The Blue Devils were in the unfamiliar position of being dominated on their home court when their guards got things rolling in the final seconds of the first half, with Curry's jumper at the 5-second mark starting the 18-6 run that made it a game again.

    Smith's jumper from the elbow pulled Duke to 49-45 with 14 1/2 minutes left, about 4 minutes before Curry started the 13-1 run that put the Blue Devils up for the first time.

    Curry reeled off seven quick points in little over a minute before Ryan Kelly delivered the game's only lead change. His 3-pointer put Duke up 57-55 with 9:15 left, and Smith's three-point play roughly a minute later stretched it to 60-55.

    Smith finished 13 of 23 and surpassed his previous career high of 33 points set a month ago against UAB. Curry hit two free throws in the final seconds to surpass his 20-point performance Jan. 27 against Boston College. They helped the Blue Devils deliver a comeback for the ages: Duke hadn't erased a halftime deficit that big to win since 1959, when Navy led the Blue Devils by 14 at the break.

    The Tar Heels never trailed during the first half, reeled off the first eight points and methodically stretched their lead to 16 on Zeller's stickback with 1:10 before the break. They did it largely by outworking the Blue Devils - beating them downcourt with regularity, with the big men dominating the paint. By halftime, Zeller had 13 points and nine rebounds while Henson added 10 points

    Maryland Cruises Past Longwood, 106-52

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Sean Mosley scored 20 points Wednesday night as six Maryland players finished in double figures in a 106-52 rout of Longwood.

    The point total was a season best for the Terrapins (16-8), who also racked up their second win of more than 50 points.

    The win was Maryland coach Gary Williams' 665th career victory, pushing him past the legendary John Wooden.

    The Terrapins were playing a rare mid-season nonconference game and Longwood (8-18) was obviously outmanned from the start as Maryland jumped to an 11-0 lead and never trailed.

    The Terrapins outrebounded the Lancers 55-28, shot 54.2 percent from the field (39 of 72) and made 10 of a season-high 28 3-pointers.

    Terrell Stoglin added 15 points for Maryland, while Dino Gregory had 14, Haukur Palsson 13, Pe'Shon Howard 11 and Adrian Bowie 10.

    Aaron Mitchell led the Lancers with 15 points and Antwan Carter added 13.

    Hurricanes Outlast Wake Forest in 74-73 Thriller

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Reggie Johnson hit two free throws with 4 seconds left and Miami survived a rimmed-out 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat last-place Wake Forest 74-73 on Wednesday to snap a 13-game Atlantic Coast Conference road losing streak.

    Playing in his hometown, Johnson scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds, calmly sinking both foul shots for the 20th lead change of the night.

    Wake Forest was out of timeouts, but quickly got the ball to J.T. Terrell, whose deep 3-pointer did a 360-degree role around the rim before falling out as the horn sounded.

    Durand Scott added 17 points before fouling out for the Hurricanes (15-9, 4-6), who won their third straight game. It was Miami's first win in six tries at Joel Coliseum.

    C.J. Harris scored a career-high 24 points, including two free throws with 11.3 seconds left to give Wake Forest (8-16, 1-8) its last lead.

    It marked the eighth straight tight game for the Hurricanes, who are starting to find ways to win them as they try to move up the ACC ladder.

    Wake Forest, which had lost its previous seven ACC games at least 19 points, shot 54 percent and got a big game from Harris.

    He hit 17 of 18 free throws by constantly beating his defenders off the dribble. His last two free throws weren't enough, however, because Wake Forest had no answer for Johnson inside.